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In its final event of 2017, Columbia women’s swimming and diving travels to face Princeton (6-2, 4-0 Ivy) this weekend.

The Tigers, historically one of the best programs in the conference, represent an especially notable opponent.

“Princeton is iconic within the Ivy League swim teams, so they’re kind of the team to beat every year,” junior Kate O’Rourke said. “Personally, I trained there growing up, so they’re definitely a fun rival for us and everybody rallies for this meet, especially since they’re challenging. ”

The Lions (0-3, 0-3 Ivy) lost to Yale in their last dual meet, as sophomore Julia Samson’s sweep in the backstroke events was not enough to pull Columbia’s points up.

Just last week, the team participated in two Winter National Championships. Sophomore Helen Wojdylo highlighted last weekend with a finals qualification in the 100-yard breaststroke and fifth place in her heat.

Following two weekends of invitationals, O’Rourke noted that it will benefit the team to end the year with a dual meet.

“There’s definitely more of an emphasis on the team, compared to invites,” O’Rourke said. “With dual meets, you’re standing along the deck cheering on everybody, so it’s a nice spirit rally before we go away.”

Additional strong events for the Lions this season have included a host of freestyle events, particularly the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyles by junior Mary Ashby and the 200-yard freestyle by first-year Jessica He.

Princeton is coming off a first-place finish in its annual Big Al Invitational last weekend.

“Their challenge, because they just hosted a big three day invite, is that they’ve got to get up and face us, a strong team,” head coach Diane Caskey said. “This is on them to figure out how to get it done when they’ve had a long weekend behind them.”

The Light Blue has not had a dual meet on the road yet, but the Princeton pool will prove a great place to start. The DeNunzio Pool is one of the newest in the league, constructed in 1990, and is what Caskey describes as a fast pool with a good energy overall.

The action kicks off on Friday at 5 p.m. in Princeton.


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